Disney has announced a revamp of its animated series “The Proud Family,” which will include Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto as multi-racial dads to an adopted teenage daughter.
When “The Proud Family” first aired on the Disney Channel in 2001, it starred animated Black teenager Penny Proud and her family; parents Oscar and Trudy, twin siblings BeBe and CeCe, her grandmother Suga Mama, and Puff the dog.
Returning for its third season in 2022 as “The Proud Family; Louder and Prouder,” the Proud family will introduce a trio of new characters; Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto as Randall and Barry-Leibowitz-Jenkins, and their 14-year-old-adopted daughter, racial activist Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins, voiced by Keke Palmer.
The show’s revival will also feature Penny’s new best guy friend Michael Collins, who is a “non-conforming trendsetter serving up fierce looks,” according to Deadline.
This is not the first time the movie giant has represented LGBTQ+ characters in its films. Disney announced last August that there would be an openly bisexual lead character in its new upcoming cartoon series “The Owl House,” and in Disney’s 2020 Pixar film “Onward,” Officer Cyclops’ single line about her “girlfriend” defines her as the company’s first self-identified LGBTQ+ character in an animated movie.
Disney’s move towards including more queer characters has been in the works for several years, according to CBN.
Showrunner Dana Terrace said she had long-running intentions to feature “queer kids” in the cast of Disney’s animated shows. Despite early pushback from the company, Terrace said her stubbornness has finally paid off and her ideas are now being “very supported by current Disney leadership,” CBN reports.
“The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” is currently in production for a 2022 launch on Disney+.